Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Take Five: Women of Hillman College

In honor of Women Crush Wednesday, I have decided to spotlight the gorgeous, talented and intelligent ladies of one of my favorite television shows: A Different World. I have discussed, in the past ,why I herald this show as groundbreaking for its' time. But today, we are going to shift our attention to five other reasons we may have camped out on the lawn of Hillman Campus once or forty seven times. When I laid my eyes on the abundance of beauty that graced my television screen on a weekly basis, I felt that I was transported to my local Cold Stone creamery and been supplied with a  number of collectible wooden spoons while given the task to try their assortment of flavors at my leisure. What's this? Butter Pecan you say? Of course I'll indulge! Oh my! Chocolate Brownie? For moi? Christmas comes early! Oh I see we a mocha flavor offering. Do you mind? Of course you don't! (yum yum yum)

I'm sorry, I know, I'm embarrassing myself. Let's get to the countdown shall we, but just one more taste of this...

OK, I'll stop. When the coolest man that ever walked the earth supplies you with the side eye, you know it's time to move on with the show! (RIP You Beautiful Soul You)

5. Gina Deveraux
Portrayed By: Ajai Sanders

Nom Nom Factor: Gina was your resident "Round The Way Girl" who supplied an ample amount of attitude, shade and wise cracks along the way.On top of that, she was *ahem* well proportioned. Usually regulated to a supporting role to more prominent characters, Gina did manage to showcase her more courageous side when she finally stood up to her abusive boyfriend. She would have been the girl that probably thought I was too corny to kick it with while simultaneously, annoy the hell out of me if she ever did give me a chance.

4.Lena James
Portrayed By: Jada Pinkett Smith

Nom Nom Factor: The brash and rarely unapologetic Lena James could at times be a hard pill to swallow! However, she also possessed the spirit of a poet and a revolutionary whose  goal was for her and others, who were ignored or mistreated by society, to be seen, heard and respected for the gifts they possessed.In addition, her sense of  style was incomparable!  Lena was the type of woman that would watch the game with you but would punch you in the chest if you disrespected her! Furthermore, she would also embarrass you on the dance floor.I likes'em sassy!

3.Jaleesa Vinson:
Portrayed By: Dawn Lewis

Nom Nom Factor: Being that she was one of the more mature students on campus, Jaleesa would often serve as the voice of reason and giver of sage advice. She was poised, unflinching, and strong willed, sometimes to a fault though. Rarely did you see her wavier in her stance as she was a true beacon of sophistication. Not to mention, she possessed a  beautiful singing voice that could stop you in your tracks. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm!

2.Winifred "Freddie" Brooks
Portrayed By: Cree Summers

Nom Nom Factor: Who didn't have a crush on Freddie? Was it the curly fro? The off kilter and quirky personality? Or the fact that she truly was an original character and depiction of African American womanhood that had never been seen in popular media before? All of these unique factors encompassed my overall attraction to this "black hippie". Sure she could be a bit of a goofball, but she could be soul stirring when she was serious. I'd picket next to you anytime Ms. Brooks!

1.Whitley Gilbert
Portrayed By: Jasmine Guy

Nom Nom Factor: I am just as shocked as you! I never could imagine that Whitley would be my number one! She was superficial, extremely materialistic, shallow, and at times arrogant. However, it was  the fact that ,over time, Whitley evolved into an individual that possessed substance. Furthermore, she grew to be independent of her lineage or a male lead, showed glimpses  of comedic flair, and most alluring, became socially conscience as it related to the rights of both African Americans and women! That growth is what made me fall in love with her (and the fact that she was more fine than two unicorns splashing through waterfalls on a Saturday night!)
Another impressive feat was the fact that she gave the champion of the everyday brother ,Dwayne Wayne, a chance! I mean this brother had flip up glasses and his middle name was Cleophus!! Really? Cleopheus sounds like the name of a Greek God who only brought napkins to the grand feast but would leave with the biggest "to go plate" once the affair was over! Anyway, Ms. Gilbert's drive not only caused her to evolve, but also forced Mr. Wayne to realize his full potential. No one but Whitley could have done that! A true testament of a down sister!


  1. I loved Freddie's personality, one of the best and the actress playing is also very talented.

  2. Wait, how did pre-med Kimberly Reese not break your top 5, overachieving emblem of black excellence that she was? I'd add Dr. Reese to the list and bump Gina to honorable mention. (Luv you tho, Gina girl!) - OM

  3. I'd like to give a young Marisa Tomei a shout out as well!!!!!!!! - Terrance L. Hector